waited confidently by the river. There
was no point chasing Vanna. The coin
would bring her to him. She would know
it was their fate to meet and interact.
Reggie was sure she would think he was on the run, afraid of her and the
coin. But she would not know this was a
trap. The coin would not warn her in time.
Reggie knew the coin had powers over people and Vanna controlled it.
That’s why she would be overconfident until it was too late.
Reggie had a
secret. The coin’s powers would work for
Vanna while it was in her possession unless….someone had control of the rest of
the coin collection. Fortunately he
still had the collection and it was nearby, locked in his car. He The
collection was nearby so the powers would be stronger. She would walk right
past it and never know. When
she was least expecting it, the coin’s powers would be turned against her.
stayed in the shadows where he was less likely to be noticed. He wanted to surprise Vanna. If she was accidentally alerted by someone, Reggie
wasn’t sure how she would react, or for that matter, how the coin would
react. The situation could get ugly.
men loitered by a bar on a nearby street.
Reggie wondered if they were looking for an easy mark, someone tipsy or
alone. He hoped they would leave soon
and be out of the way. If not, he would
have to take matters in his own hands.
arrived later than Reggie expected. He
was tense and irritable and eager for a confrontation. The two men were still there, apparently unaware
of him, staying close to a streetlight.
Reggie was tired of waiting and ready to make their lives uncomfortable.
almost given up and was sliding out of the shadows when a bus stopped at a
corner two blocks away. A woman got off
and the bus pulled away. Reggie knew it
was Vanna even before she turned and walked towards the river.
alone was easy prey. He could feel the men’s
excitement increasing. He wasn’t worried
because he knew she had the coin and at any time she could unleash its powers
against them. He was uneasy about
letting others crash his party, but he decided
to relax and enjoy the show.
and talked to the young men. That was
unexpected. They didn’t follow her which also surprised Reggie. They stood there for a few seconds surveying
the scene, trying to determine if they were being watched or followed, before
disappearing into the darkness. Reggie
decided the coin had worked its magic and they wouldn’t be a problem.
Reggie was concentrating on Vanna and the coin
because its power was zeroing in, challenging his authority. Because his attention was diverted the sound
of breaking glass never registered, and
he never dreamed that the two young men would ransack his car.
Vanna stopped a few yards away and called out,
“Reggie! I know you’re there. Come
out! Don’t make me use the coin’s
laughed. ”Vanna, you don’t have as much
power as you think. The coin is mine and
will do anything I demand of it.”
were weak and her stomach was churning. The
coin was vibrating and she felt her control weakening.
before, Vanna. You’ll do what I want.”
at him for several seconds and then began slowly gyrating, dancing to music she
remembered from before. Reggie urged her
on. “Keep going, baby. Feel the rhythm.”
to resist but resistance was futile.
Unbuttoning her blouse as she danced, she watched Reggie. There was no
change in his expression but she could feel his hatred turning into
At first she
was chilled by his expression and the cool breeze coming from the river. Then a strange warmth began in the pit of her
stomach. The warmth came in waves, each
wave increasingly invasive. She hated
him and yet she was beginning to want him, feeling love in spite of her hatred
of all he had done. She continued to
dance for him until she stood before him naked and waiting, obediently ready
his next command.
still clutched in her hand, began to vibrate.
She took several steps back and pressed her hands to her head. The trance was broken. Suddenly she looked up and defiantly said, “Where
are your powers, Reggie? Did you lose
stared in disbelief. “Don’t even try,
Vanna,” he snapped. “Do you really want
to challenge me? Vanna,” he ordered, “go
jump in the river. It’s time for you to
him and began getting dressed.
losing his self control. “What did you
do? Where is my collection?”
the two young men standing nearby. “This
is your chance!” he shouted. “I won’t stop you whatever you do. She’s yours for
one man said, “you don’t have power over us anymore.”
eyes narrowed as he recognized one of the men.
“Karl, where is my collection?”
“I put it in
a safe place for Vanna. I trust her. She
is in charge now,” Karl responded. “She
can answer your questions.”
me my collection and I’ll let you go,” Reggie gasped.
too late for you. You won’t hurt anyone
ever again. Karl found the collection and
it’s in my possession. You wanted me to
die in the river. I’ve decided you can
take my place.”
the coin. Reggie backed down the levee
bank and stood ankle deep in the water. “Vanna,
please,” Reggie begged.
the coin again. Reggie’s hands gripped
his throat and he fell to his knees. He
gasped twice and then pitched backward into the current. He was visible only for a moment before he
sank into the darkness.
to her brother. “It’s over, Karl. Now you’ll have to get your life in
order. You can’t continue being with a
gang and living on the edge. The coin
will turn against you if you forget. Now you and your friend go home. No more trouble. Understand?”
she was right and he knew he had no options.
She would be in charge and life would be different.
returned to the apartment there were several messages from George. She didn’t want to deal with his probing
questions or even to talk to him. She
didn’t feel the same towards him. Yet George was persistent and one evening she
found him waiting at her front door.
want to see me, George,” she warned. “I’m
not the same person you knew. So much
has changed since I last saw you.”
care,” he insisted. “Whatever you’ve done or wherever you’ve been does not
matter to me. I don’t want to know
unless you want to share. All I know is
that I can’t live without you. I love
you, Vanna. I always have and I always
surrounded her but she pushed away. His
arms were too confining and reminded her of the humiliation and torture she had
endured and the conflicting moments of pleasure. Could she forget any of that? Could she ever be a good wife and mother? George would expect life to be orderly and under
his control. She had gained her
independence and it was too soon to give it up.
into his eyes and said, “I’m not ready to make any commitment. Give me some time. You deserve someone special.”
the one I want. I’ll take care of you. Get those silly notions about being
independent out of your head. I’m
disappointed that you don’t want to have a life together. You’ll change your mind.” He grabbed her arm
and pulled her towards the door. “You’re
going with me to the priest right now and we’re going to say our vows. You’ve been brainwashed by someone. You’ll be straightened out in no time.”
“Let go of
my arm!” Her tone got his
attention. “I said, let go of my arm!”
different,” he said, “but you’re mine and you’ll do what I tell you.”
the coin and George fell to the floor temporarily paralyzed. “Don’t ever touch me again without my
permission. You don’t own me and you never have. I’m not a possession. Stay away from me
unless I decide you can be in my life.
Do you understand?”
Perhaps the only way he could learn was a
simple jolt that would shake him to the core.
She waited a few moments before releasing the power that held him.
George. Someday we might work as a team,
but for now I have my doubts.” She would
have preferred a less harsh way of dealing with him. That door to her past was closed and George
was probably gone from her life.
her life would be going in new directions.
She was not timid or obedient anymore.
She was ready for excitement and with the coin in her possession she
would turn her neighborhood around and make it safe again for families. For now, she had much work to do.